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Published - 2022/03/24

Forest Industry, Healthcare Industry, Industry & services

​You’re so green but consumers see red. Why?

Opticom’s extensive work on consumer perception confirms there is still a deep unease around a business model that relies on cutting down trees, because trees are an emotive subject, not a rational one. Understanding this key point and the perspective of the end-user can be a good start: Consumers believe trees are for planting, not harvesting.

​You’re so green but consumers see red. Why?

After years of helping clients establish and maintain successful sustainability campaigns, Mikael Selling, founder of Opticom, shares a few tips:

  • ​See the bigger picture. Keep up to date with fast-changing perceptions, legislation and compliance and ensure your employees do too.

  • Understand the communication chain and where you sit in relation to the final end-user.

  • Simplify your story. Be clear in your message and remember who it’s for. Your immediate customer might already know a thing or two about working forests.

  • Tell the story for both your customer and your customers’ customers. This brings value to you both.

  • Don’t rely on eco-labelling to do the job for you. Some labels mean more in some markets than others.

“In a recent global consumer study covering Europe, the US and China, more than half of the respondents wanted to see more detailed information on the background/origin of packaging, not just an eco-label,” explains Selling. “Some 35% of the respondents did not consider paper to be a renewable material, for example, while 29% thought wood was fossil based.

“Understanding perception and, importantly, misperception, is key to building a strategic and effective communication response, especially where sustainability is concerned. We can help customers gain insight into all the stakeholders in the value chain. Those who have this advantage have a clear tendency to be more successful in their story telling.”

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